Continued competency. Dentistry's "road not taken" Journal Article uri icon


  • Large group practices and any other arrangement of dentists who depend on the quality of care provided by their associates have an inherent interest in continued competency as a means of raising the standards for the entire group. Doing it together offers advantages. The dental component of HealthPartners is a multispecialty, multi-clinic system with about 60 dentists. Regular components of dentists' experience include mentoring, both conducting and experiencing chart audits, and participation on quality assurance teams. Because continuous competency is grounded on the organization's computer system, regular outcomes data are available for comparison against both evidence-based guidelines and norms of what others are accomplishing. The approach to continued competency goes beyond the knowledge and skills of individual dentists to include the entire delivery system, the office team, patient behavior patterns, network relations, and even equipment.

publication date

  • 2012